Currently ranked: 37
Previously ranked: 33
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, into an Indian family, Jalak Jobanputra has what seems to be a natural background for the emerging-markets and financial inclusion themes of the venture capital firm she founded — but it took her a while to get there. Jobanputra grew up in the U.S. from the age of five and went on to earn undergraduate degrees in communications and finance and an MBA in marketing and entrepreneurship. Four years with Intel Capital, starting in 1999, gave her exposure to venture investing in enterprise software, the internet, and digital media. After that, at New Venture Partners, Jobanputra invested in technologies developed within corporate labs; worked on the launch of the FinTech Innovation Lab at what is now the Partnership Fund for New York City; and was director of mobile investments at Omidyar Network. For the last, a “philanthrocapitalist” initiative of eBay co-founder Pierre Omidyar, she dived headlong into emerging markets.
Though the Omidyar experience led logically to the approach that Jobanputra would take, starting in 2014, with Future Perfect Ventures, she says that a Bitcoin conference she attended in 2013 opened her eyes to how commerce could function without banks as intermediaries. That sparked the question “What would a system look like if we could build it from scratch?”
FPV’s investments include digital wallets Abra and Blockchain, as well as Everledger, which is applying distributed ledger technology to the diamond market.